Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast from fresh or frozen. 25 minutes from start to finish, simple ingredients and no saute. Cooking chicken breast in the Instant Pot is an essential recipe that is perfect for beginners and novices alike.

This pressure cooker chicken breast is my go-to on a busy weeknight or a weekend (who am I kidding?!). Often it becomes Instant Pot shredded chicken making it perfect for salad, tacos and stir fries. Just like Instant Pot whole chicken is any mom’s best friend.

Instant Pot chicken breast on a trivet inside the pot and broth at the bottom.

Why This Recipe Works?

This Instant Pot chicken breast recipe is easy, simple and forgiving.

Don’t you always have a pack of chicken breasts in your freezer?! Now you can make chicken breast in Instant Pot from fresh or frozen in 30 minutes.

I have been making slow cooker chicken breast for years. It’s a great recipe, the only downside is that you have to remove cooked chicken from the crock pot right away to avoid it being dry. And sometimes, I am just not home.

So, this pressure cooker version solves the problem. Chicken breast is done in 25 minutes or so. I just love Instant Pot!

It makes the best Instant Pot rice and beans with no soaking, Instant Pot lasagna with no need for a springform pan, the most tender Instant Pot beef stew with no need to saute, and crazy easy Instant Pot steamed vegetables!

Instant Pot whole chicken breast and shredded chicken breast on a plate.

If you are not a blessed electric pressure cooker owner just yet, check out my baked chicken breast or chicken breast in air fryer recipes. Same easy and simple.

Also this honey garlic chicken breast would be good pan fried, in case you don’t have an oven.

Ingredients You Will Need

Chicken breasts, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

You really need only chicken breasts and water. Everything else is up to your taste and what meal idea you are planning to use with your cooked chicken breast recipe.

If you are adding cooked chicken breast to healthy salad recipes, chicken quesadilla and chicken tostada, I would not worry about seasonings much.

If you are planning to eat cooked chicken breast alongside chicken quinoa bowl (meal prep style), I would pay attention to spices.

  • Chicken breasts: You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts, fresh or frozen.
  • Salt and pepper: Simple seasonings so your chicken is a ‘blank slate’ for recipes.
  • Garlic powder: If you wish, but not required.
  • Dried herbs: If you like, really it will depend on how you plan to use the chicken once it is ready.

Use one of these chicken marinades to really ramp up the flavor of the chicken breast.

Can I Cook Breasts with Bones?

Yes. You can cook bone-in and even with skin on chicken breasts, if you wish. Same amount of time.

How to Cook Fresh Chicken Breast in Instant Pot

adding water to instant pot

Add 1 cup water and place trivet on top.

Seasoned chicken breasts in Instant Pot on a trivet.

Lay chicken breasts in a single layer, sprinkle with spices and rub onto each other.

Press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 10 minutes – under 2″ thickness, 15 minutes – over 2″ thick breasts.

Cooked chicken breasts in instant pot on a trivet.

Do Natural Release for 5 minutes and then turn pressure valve to Venting.

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in Instant Pot

hand holding two frozen chicken breasts on white plate.

Cook frozen chicken breasts just like fresh but cook time is 15 minutes.

And make sure each breast is separated. If you add a blob of frozen chicken breasts, you will end up with raw meat inside and overcooked chicken outside.

Check out my Instant Pot frozen chicken breast recipe for detailed info.

When you bring fresh chicken from the store, line each breast with small piece of parchment paper before adding to a bag and freezing. Thaw for 5 minutes or run under cold water for easy parchment paper removal.

What Size of Instant Pot Can I Use?

Any – 3 quart, 5 quart, 6 quart or 8 quart.

Same recipe. Same cooking time. Same water amount.

Just make sure chicken breasts fit in a single layer. If your Instant Pot is small and you want to cook large amount of breasts, do so in a few batches. Piling up chicken in a few layers will result in undercooked chicken.

Also note that larger pressure cooker (like mine, 8 quart) takes longer to come to pressure. About 8-10 minutes.

Serving Recommendations

There are so many ways to answer the question on what to do with cooked chicken breast! Here are a few ways to turn it into a meal:

  • Shredded: Shred meat with 2 forks, refrigerate and use to make chicken salad or healthy white chicken chili. Or skip sauteing and use instead of ground turkey to make pasta bake.
  • Diced: Cube to add protein to pasta, vegetable soup or borscht. Why not?!
  • Low carb meal: Make one of these healthy zucchini recipes to have with chicken for a complete meal.
  • Meal prep: Refrigerate whole or cubed and use throughout the week for lunches. Sub out your sandwich deli meat for chicken or use in healthy cobb salad or healthy Caesar salad.
  • Freeze for later. When ready to eat, thaw on the counter for a few hours or in the fridge overnight.

Alternately, browse 65 healthy chicken recipes perfect for putting your Instant Pot chicken to good use and top healthy sides for ideas on what to pair with your dinner!

Major tip alert! Save that broth on the bottom of the pot for making healthy chicken soup or any soup. It is basically free chicken broth.

Instant Pot chicken breast, pico de gallo and tortilla chips served on blue plate.

More FAQs

Do I have to saute breasts before cooking?

I just had to comment. Many recipes online ask you to saute chicken breast before pressure cooking in an effort “to lock in most of juices”. I can assure you I have cooked chicken breast in Instant Pot over 20 times and it comes out juicy if you follow my recipe.

Can I cook just one breast?

Yes, you can. You can cook as many or as little instapot chicken breasts as you need, as long as they fit into a single layer. Same cooking time.

Can you overcook chicken in the Instant Pot?

Because the Instant Pot steam provides a moist environment for your chicken breast, this is difficult to do. If you are worried, be sure to measure your chicken breast’s thickness at its widest point so you know exactly how long to cook chicken breast in Instant Pot.

Making This Recipe in Advance

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in fridge or on a counter.

More Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipes

Instant Pot chicken breast and shredded chicken on a plate.
Instant Pot chicken breast on a trivet inside the pot and broth at the bottom.

Instant Pot Chicken Breast

Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast from fresh or frozen. 25 minutes from start to finish, simple ingredients and no saute.
4.99 from 95 votes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 295
Diet Gluten Free
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • To the Instant Pot, add water and place trivet inside.
  • Lay chicken breasts in a single layer (if using frozen make sure they are separated) and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly with tongs or hands.
  • Close the lid and set pressure vent to Sealing. Press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 10 minutes (under 2" thickness) for fresh, or 15 minutes (over 2" thick) for fresh and frozen chicken breasts (any size).
  • Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown will begin.
  • After 10-15 minutes your chicken is ready, Instant Pot will beep and display will say OFF. Wait 5 minutes and do Quick Release by turning sealing valve to Venting position.
  • Open the lid and your chicken breasts are ready for meal prep, casseroles, salads etc. Shred or cube, and save the stock at the bottom for soup.

Video

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge or on a counter.
  • *If using frozen chicken breasts make sure they are separated. Think about it before freezing a whole tray, separate them with parchment paper.
  • Feel free to use chicken broth instead of water.

Nutrition

Serving: 1breast | Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 400mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Shred chicken by chucking the whole thing in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Set it to low and be amazed.

  2. 5 stars
    I had three large — almost industrial size — frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts that wouldn’t lay flat without piling one on top of another and I saw your caution against that. Then I remembered a recipe for baby back ribs and they were placed on edge around the circumference of the Instant Pot. I figured if it worked for ribs, it might work for chicken. They came out great! Every time I use my Instant Pot I like it more. I sorta wish I had the eight quart instead of the six, but it’s working okay.

  3. 5 stars
    Hello! I wanted to thank you for this method, because not only am I new to instant pot (life changer!), I also have just started eating meat after 20 years, and this was the first (and so far only way) I cooked it. I love how clear you were with the instructions and I learned a lot! This is my fourth time cooking it, and this time it was actually for my cat Charlie, so I didn’t season it at all. I put in a boneless chicken breast and two drumsticks with skin on, and cooked it for 15 min, and the meat fell right off the bone, while the breast is still tender. We’ll be sharing the chicken for a week, me adding it to my soup, and Charlie snacking on it while sipping his bone broth I’ve made before. Thank you!

    1. You will need a shorter cook time (6-8 minutes) unless they are thick, then refer to the frozen chicken breast information. Still wait for 5 minutes, then release pressure.

  4. 5 stars
    Did my own seasoning but the instructions were perfectly clear and easy to follow! My chicken came out so moist and delicious. The stock was amazing and I decided to freeze it. Used the chicken in a chicken philly casserole dish. Very easy to shred too. So good I pinned it on Pinterest so I could come back to it.

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you! I had frozen breasts I needed to shred for my sick pup. Your instructions are so easy. Дякую From Vienna, Austria.

  5. 5 stars
    Just perfect! Love how easy and thorough your recipe is. Thank you so much! I’m totally loving my instant pot and I look forward to trying out more of your instant pot recipes.

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